Callahan and TRK Advisors Partner to Offer Curriculum-Rich Credit Card Management School

Contact: Margaret Blankers, MJB Public Relations Group, (866) 714-7041,

Washington, D.C. Dec. 19, 2011) – Between today’s lackluster economy and new stringent regulations, it can be challenging to manage a credit card program that balances risk and reward, while ensuring a fair product to members. To help, Callahan & Associates is teaming up with Timothy Kolk, Principal of TRK Advisors and a 15-year veteran of the credit card industry, to present its 2012 Credit Card Management School.

This will be the second year for the Credit Card Management School, which offers four online modules, as well as the ability for attendees to access recordings of each course throughout the year for future reference and assistance.

“Credit unions want to make more loans, and credit card programs are a good source of loan income,” Kolk said. “While they are often a small portion of the balance sheet, credit cards can contribute meaningfully to growth goals, especially given that they often provide the highest ROA on the balance sheet.

The Credit Card Management School will help credit unions optimize their card portfolios and to better understand the latest trends in program design and management. Each of the School’s four units is designed to benefit credit unions that currently offer or are looking at offering, a credit card program. Sessions include the following:

  • “Market Review” What’s Going On Out There?” – an in-depth look at the market, including background on what the largest issuers are doing, the economic forces in play and the central challenges card issuers face.
  • “Underwriting & Risk Management: Balancing Risk, Reward, Value and Service” – a  synopsis of trends and best practices in risk management, along with proven, actionable ways to enhance your credit union’s credit card lending practices.
  •  “Product Set Design: Pricing, Rewards and Overall Value” – an assessment of credit card product design that includes pricing, rewards and overall value, to help your credit union build relationships and remain relevant to members while serving their individual needs.
  • “Card Marketing: What Works, What Doesn’t, What You Need” – a multi-faceted approach to market segmentation and promotion, including tactics for gaining new accounts, building relationships with existing cardholders and re-engaging those that are inactive.”

“We believe the 2012 Credit Card Management School will top the success of last year’s School,” said Alix Patterson, Curriculum Advisor and Chief Operating Officer for Callahan & Associates. “The benefits are substantial, with credit unions better able to balance risk and reward, assuring that members receive a fairly priced, quality product while protecting the credit union’s bottom line.

Before launching his advisory firm, Kolk was Managing Partner at Brookwood Capital and head of Finance for M&T Bank’s credit card program. A veteran in the credit card industry, he is well-versed in credit card program design, portfolio optimization techniques and program profitability management. Kolk has advised hundreds of issuers on the pros and cons of selling their credit card portfolios and has a strong background in the negotiation and transition process related to such sales.

To enroll in Callahan & Associates’ 2012 Credit Card Management School, interested credit union staff or volunteers may register online at or call 800.446.7453 for additional information. The program begins in April 2012.

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About Callahan & Associates

Callahan & Associates is a Washington, DC-based firm specializing in financial publications, software development, strategic planning, and investment management for credit unions for twenty-five years.  Visit to learn more.


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